Pies for friend's wedding

Hi bakers!

A friend has asked us to make 12 pies for her wedding.

Aside from the freezer space that we'll beg, borrow, and swap for extra storage around town, do you have any suggestions for:
* a pie we can make ahead and freeze
* a pie that can be handed to the caterer at the venue the day before with baking instructions

We were thinking fruit pies would be easiest but it is sprint in California and apples aren't plentiful. I was also toying with the idea of making cheesecake that could be left in the venue's fridge overnight and then we can just add toppings before serving.

I found this article very helpful but am worried about the care in the fridge overnight: http://www.kingarthurflour...

I'm on the hunt for ideas and will start test runs soon.

Any thoughts you have are appreciated!

  • Posted by: Jen
  • April 14, 2015


arcane54 April 19, 2015
Oh my, that (almost) Better Than Sex Pie, really is. Thanks for reminding me about that recipe. So good, so luscious. I first had it at a restaurant that called it coffee toffee pie because they didn't want to prove that the Better Than Sex name was justifiable.
Jen April 18, 2015
Thank you all so much! We just found out that we won't have nearly as much space as we thought (in freezer or ovens) so we're thinking this might be harder to pull off than we had originally thought. I have a few more questions out to the venue.

If we can make this work, I think the idea of a slab pie might be just the thing that works!

I'll report back soon!
LeBec F. April 19, 2015
I don't know how it's going to turn out w/ the caterer, but i have a few suggestions:
--i think there would be far less concern if 50% or more- of the pies- are freezer pies that do not require baking.
This way, those could be removed from your freezer the morning of the wedding, and stacked in large picnic coolers where they will prob have reached the perfect temp when the dessert buffet? is served. They can be stacked using cake boards and inverted cake pans, shallow and deep.
Chocolate is always a huge success in any dessert and my fav choco pie is Maida Heatters 'Better than Sex" Coffee Chocolate Buttercrunch pie.
Nancy April 19, 2015
Footnotes - if your definition of pie can stretch to Pavlova (consider the meringue as crust/base & topping as filling), maybe mix in a few if them with the regular pies. If you wrap the baked meringues air right, they stay a few days a room temperature, so no oven or freezer requirements at location.
dinner A. April 16, 2015
I've helped to make fruit pies for two family weddings, and in both cases, we baked the pies the day before, pretty much as Abbie suggested. In one case, the other food was a guy running a portable woodfired pizza oven, so he didn't have anything to do with the dessert, and we kept it at room temp overnight. In the other case, the caterer was pretty full service and I think put the pies in the fridge overnight. They were good in both cases, but the ones that were never refrigerated were better. At home, I keep fruit pie at room temp for a few days and it's never spoiled. Similar to jam, pie filling (even relatively tart pie filling) is too sugary and too acidic to be a very good growth medium for microorganisms.

For one of these weddings, we made blueberry slab pies in large (maybe 12x20") sheet pans. The flat, rectangular pies were perhaps not quite as pretty as round pies, but it was both easy to make enough for ~100 people in a few batches using one home oven, and also less messy to serve, because of the higher crust/fruit ratio.

Strawberry rhubarb is a great idea for springtime, especially in California. How late in the spring will the wedding be? If it's late enough for cherries or plums, those would also make great pie fillings. Alternatively, if it's very soon, you could make lemon curd tarts (or other citrus; meyer lemon and grapefruit are my favorite) These I would keep in the fridge overnight, b/c of the eggy curd.
PieceOfLayerCake April 16, 2015
Slab pies are SUCH a good idea! Just as easy to execute and so much easier to portion/serve.
nutcakes April 15, 2015
Oh I remembered strawberry-rhubarb would be in season and is one way for a cooked strawberry pie.

Sweet potato and pecan are strongly associated with fall and winter holidays to me. But they would be practical. I have a chocolate custard pie with chocolate crust I like to make, it is like custard the first day and it it more like a rich truffle filling after it is refrigerated, that isn't bad because it doesn't get soggy. But it needs to be decorated with a little shipped cream.
PieceOfLayerCake April 15, 2015
I keep fruit pies out at room temperature all day at my bakery without any adverse effects. They can be made up to a week in advance, kept in the freezer, baked fresh and stored (in refrigeration) overnight. The fridge is actually more damaging to them than the fresh air, since baked good stale faster at refrigeration temperatures. Wrapping baked pies tends to soften the crust. Ideally, they should be constructed ahead of time, frozen, baked the morning of and left at room temperature for service.
ChefJune April 15, 2015
Both sweet potato and pecan pies are seasonless and can be baked the day ahead with no deleterious effect. I'd recommend including them in the lineup not only for this reason but also because both are such incredibly delicious pies.
nutcakes April 15, 2015
This is a difficult request because of pies not keeping that well. And you will have to check with the caterer about time to bake off 12 pies and sanitation issues surrounding how long s/he is allowed to leave food unrefrigerated. The KA article is really helpful. What care in the fridge overnight? It just sits there wrapped in a plastic bag. As long as there is room. This is why we have cake at weddings even if we like pie. Have pie for your anniversary when there is just the two of you. Or a small shower. And yeah, apples out of season, same with apricots and peaches. Mixed berry? Custard will weep.
PieceOfLayerCake April 14, 2015
I prefer to bake pies from frozen whenever possible because the crust is less likely to droop...and I haven't met too many pies that are compromised by some time in the freezer (the oven is a far less hospitable place, anyway). Cheesecakes are perfect for freezing as demonstrated by the huge frozen dessert industry. There are fantastic no-bake cheesecakes out there (I have a fabulous 3-cheese amaretti recipe) that won't even take oven space, and actually improve with a good freeze. But a pie will, of course, keep much better at room temperature.
Healthline April 14, 2015
Icebox pies are a great, make-ahead option. And this Lime Icebox Pie could be a refreshing choice among other fruit pies: http://www.healthline.com/health-recipes/lime-icebox-pie
aargersi April 14, 2015
Hi! How many people / ovens will be in on the baking? Fruit pies WOULD be easy - and you can use frozen fruit (berries, peaches, etc.) where fresh isn't available (we just started getting strawberries in Texas, have you?) Anyhow a fruit pie can sit without fridge over night so you could make the dough for the crusts two days out, roll and bake like mad the day before, and deliver the day of. It would still be a bake-a-palooza, but at least spread out a bit.
The cheesecake sounds like a good idea too - and a little something different for (weirdo) non-pie lovers
Jen April 14, 2015
Great question about the ovens! I've just sent an email off to find out.

I'm in California and the strawberries are back!

Thanks, Abbie!
Recommended by Food52